Isacco: ‘We Should Have Had An Announcement By Now’
Former York9 FC assistant coach Carmine Isacco believes that the Canadian Premier League has been too slow to find a solution for the 2020 season.
On this week’s Barnburner Podcast, the 49-year-old York University head coach suggested the league was having difficulty finding a single host location that made fiscal sense, but still thinks that by now a host site for a modified 2020 CPL season should have been locked in.
Right now, the silence is keeping our heads scratched. We should have had an announcement by now, and the teams should have been starting to leave at the beginning of July. They don’t have nowhere to go right now. They are training, they are starting to get to full eleven-vs-eleven. Who knows? It might be an abbreviated season in their own stadiums, but right now there needs to be a little bit more noise.Carmine Isacco
A few weeks ago, Canadian Premier League Commissioner David Clanachan hosted a town hall where he didn’t want to rule out the possibility of home games being played in 2020, but he did emphasize that Victoria, Charlottetown, and Moncton were frontrunners to host an abbreviated season format, while also revealing that he felt Toronto could host another CPL expansion team, too.
While PEI was one of the first provinces to put forth a bid, Isacco – who parted ways with the Nine Stripes back in December – isn’t so sure the Maritime province is the best solution to host the entire league.
I know PEI was an option, but I think that they’re hesitant right now, and the facilities in PEI would just make the league look terrible. We were there for the national championship in 2014-15, and the only university stadium…the surface is bad, the surroundings are not very professional, so we’ll see what happens. Hopefully there’s something in Moncton and Vancouver Island that’s brewing.Carmine Isacco
Prior to the pandemic, teams in the burgeoning league had a strong offseason: with players like Tristan Borges, Joel Waterman, and Emilio Estevez sold to European or MLS sides, CPL teams brought in a lot of exciting domestic talent like Daniel Kinumbe, Chris Mannella, and Fraser Aird. There’s been plenty of interesting international talent arriving to CPL sides as well, and Isacco recognizes the importance of showing off the high level of play to an audience hungry for sporting content.
Let’s find a place to play, let’s get these guys going, because the quality right now of York9, of Pacific, the quality of Forge and Calvary, those teams need to be showcased because they’ve got some very good players there and it’ll be a very good tournament to see if we’re allowed to showcase them.Carmine Isacco
The inaugural Canadian Premier League campaign saw every match streamed on OneSoccer, with a match-of-the-week format seeing some games aired on CBC Sports, too. The league had originally planned on some additional local broadcasts this year, but since the pandemic Clanachan has been quiet on any potential broadcast changes for the 2020 season.
While the CEBL was able to announce its own return-to-play set to begin in Saint Catherine’s on July 25, the CFL has been similarly quiet on the return-to-play front. This delay resulted in Montreal Alouettes player James Wilder Jr. retiring, with Toronto Argonauts receiver DaVaris Daniels issuing an ultimatum to the league commissioner to have a plan in place by July 3.
While no Canadian Premier League players have publicly retired to pursue other opportunities due to the pandemic, it’s certainly a prospect the league would do best to avoid.
That being said, Duane Rollins stated that he believes a return-to-play announcement will come from the league in the next few days, with Canada Day being the most obvious choice for an announcement of such significance. The league has reportedly asked some supporters to make fan-made videos for an announcement on July 1, but it’s unclear whether this is related to a return-to-play announcement or solely Canada Day celebrations.
The modified Canadian Premier League season is expected to begin in late July or early August, ending in September before the 2020 Canadian Championship takes place. That means that all eight CPL teams will have had a month and a half of training (or more) prior to the resumption of competitive action. The Halifax Wanderers were the first club to resume training, having done so back on June 1.
Whatever happens as a result of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, fans have made it clear on social media that they’re hungry for news on the 2020 Canadian Premier League season. While it appears the league will finally have an answer in the coming days, there will be some – like Carmine Isacco – who are firm in their opinions that these plans should have been locked in at a faster pace.
Source: Barn Burner Podcast
I don’t blame people if their patience is starting to wear thin! The CPL moves very quickly on a year-to-year schedule, but the delays on month-to-month schedules (TV contract, season schedule, jersey reveals, Ottawa, etc.) are all the more wearying in comparison.
Their saving grace, though, is that taking their time still looks much wiser than rushing ahead. Every announcement of a positive COVID-19 case in the NHL reassures me that taking our time has an upside.
Pacific FC also started training on June 1.